Integrity In IM… Because It’s Good Business

There’s an old saying…

“Honesty is the best policy”. That’s what Mom always used to say. What about in business, though? Is the old saying really true? Well, let’s take a look…

A chance to build trust

I remember getting an email a while back. It was from an internet marketer whose list I was on. I opened the email and there was an invitation to a “value only” webinar looking at list-building and creating an online income. He said that this was a one-time webinar. There wasn’t going to be a replay or other opportunities to see the content. I was intrigued so I took the time and showed up live.

The content was quite good and then it changed pace and became a sales presentation for a high-end coaching program. I was ok with it turning into a pitch, I guess… The guy’s gotta eat and maybe I misunderstood the whole value-only idea. The presentation for the training actually looked pretty good. The program was going to walk you through everything needed to go from newbie to 5k/month and, since it was an elite program, was going to be super small to ensure personal attention. 10 seats only…

Trust destroyed

A funny thing happened when the sales opened up, though. 10 turned to into 20…. 20 turned to 30…… which turned to 35…….. That wasn’t the end either… The next week I got another email from the same mailer inviting me to a “special one time webinar with no replay…” for the same course! After a little digging I also found two more “one time” scheduled webinars for that week.

How did I feel afterwards? Well… I felt lied to. Let’s review: 1) Value-only webinar. Nope, it was a pitch. Don’t get me wrong. I’m fine with a sales webinar. Just don’t lie about it; don’t “bait and switch”. 2) One time only webinar. Nope, I found at least 3 showing times. 3) No replay available. Wrong. I got an email about the webinar the day afterwards explaining how the webinar was so full people that couldn’t get on so they decided to do a replay after all. 4) Class limited to 10 people. Wrong again. The presenter got update after update from his “support staff” saying they could probably handle a few more until he finally said, “You know what, let’s just throw the doors open and I’ll deal with the staff in the morning.” and that was just from one session without counting the other sessions.

Trust is a funny thing. When you deceive people in business it comes off as a tactic (to create fake urgency and fear of loss to pressure buying) and it’s like dropping an H-bomb on trust. Note, how I felt and my level of trust afterwards had nothing to do with the quality of the presentation or the product. It didn’t matter if the product was worth it or not… I had lost trust in the course creator and, to be honest, in the person who mailed about the offer. I got off both lists because I now knew I couldn’t trust them. Get me once… shame on you. Get me twice… shame on me.

Elements of building trust

Stephen Covey goes into this a lot in his book “The Speed of Trust” where he looks at credibility; something we all know is good for business and profit. He proposes that credibility is built on 4 pillars:

  1. Integrity – Do you do what you say?
  2. Intent – Do you have a hidden agenda?
  3. Capability – Are you relevant?
  4. Results – What is your track record?

Covey refers to the first two, integrity and intent, as character cores. The second two, capability and results, are competency cores. He writes that you need all 4 cores to build real credibility. Think about it for a second, though… If you don’t trust somebody’s integrity or intent are you going to believe a liar with ulterior motives them when they tell you about their capabilities or results? I know I won’t.

The old model in business says:

Strategy x Effort = Results.

This old formula ignores the impact of trust, though. Based on newer research Covey amends the formula by adding trust:

(Strategy x Effort) x Trust = Results

Trust becomes a multiplier for everything you do in your business. It will either be a dividend that pays you, or a tax that makes everything harder, slower and more expensive… If you have trust it will boost every strategy. If you don’t have trust it will cripple even the best laid plans.

The results of high trust

Do you want higher open rates? How about higher conversion rates? A more responsive list? Higher ticket sales? More referrals? Better results for less money and effort? Then build trust with the people on your list because that trust will leverage your strategy and boost your business. Why else do you think the first rule of business is to “underpromise and overdeliver”? It’s all about building trust to pave the way to a long-term, mutually beneficial, business relationship.

Where to go from here

So what does a new lead want from you? That person is looking to see if they can trust you. They are weighing you out. Do you do what you say? Do you have a hidden agenda? Until these questions are answered there is too much risk to move forward and no reason to keep you on their radar.

Build trust. A person who trusts you will be more likely to listen to what you have to say. They will be less expensive to reach and will value your recommendations. They will be more likely to invest in a higher ticket item and will also be more likely to continue doing business with you in the future.

Be honest. Do what you say. Be genuine; no manipulative tactics. Treat people like people, not commodities. Help others rather than just going for a quick score.

By building trust you build your business because it turns out Mom was right… “be yourself” and “tell the truth” are solid pieces of advice, not only for the playground, but for the arena of business as well.

~Here’s to your success

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  • David Bratby

    Reply Reply June 22, 2017

    Thanks Daniel, really great post. Trust is hard earn and easy to lose. I have seen these types of webinars as well. Now when I watch one I take the info and watch for the BS. Cheers

    • danielhanscom

      Reply Reply June 23, 2017

      Covey talks a lot about this in his book, “The Speed of Trust”. Like you said, hard to earn and easy to lose… but such an asset once trust is built. Everything just works better. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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